OpenChargeMap tracks EV charging stations worldwide. Currently, it has data on 146865 charging stations in 73146 locations. Realtor.com has taken that data and correlated it with the information it has on the selling price of homes in the US and come up with an interesting conclusion. Home prices are higher in neighborhoods with more public electric car chargers.
The survey looked at the top 20 US housing markets spread across 9 states and found the combined median listing price for the areas with the most electric car chargers — $780,200 — is 1.5 times higher than in surrounding metro areas and 2.6 times higher than the rest of the country.
Now, before we get too giddy about this new information, it is wise to remember the old adage “figures lie and liars figure.” Anyone with a Radio Shack calculator can make figures sit up and dance to prove whatever they want them to prove. You don’t have to be a Mensa candidate to realize people with money are the primary demographic for electric cars so far. They cost more than conventional cars so, of course, people with more financial resources tend to buy them. And those people tend to live in pricier, more upscale communities.
Are there more EV chargers in Irvine, California — 77 — than in any other zip code area because there are more wealthy people there? Or are there more wealthy people in Irvine because of the abundance of EV chargers located there? As Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com points out,
“Our data shows there’s definitely a link between the prevalence of electric-vehicle charging stations and higher home prices. But there’s a difference between correlation and causation. The trend we’re seeing in the data is most likely a result of the fact that wealthier homeowners are more likely to purchase expensive electric vehicles. But regardless of the cause, if you’re shopping for a home in a Zip with an abundance of electric-vehicle charging stations, you’ll likely pay a premium.”
She adds that electric vehicle charging stations are more common in areas with higher priced homes, which not only reflects the affluence of those who live in the areas but also a preference for making environmentally friendly decisions. You can slice and dice the data any way you like, but as Forbes contributor Brenda Richardson says in an article about the Realtor.com survey, “Close proximity to electric-vehicle charging stations is becoming the new hardwood flooring when it comes to commanding a higher sale price.”
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